The Bible says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)
When you consider God’s promise to those who love Him, do you believe that the principles in it may apply at a city level? For example, when you think about Tucson, can you see a prosperous city where the citizens are blessed by Him because they follow His ways? Can you hear people praising God for the good things that are happening in their lives and their family’s lives? Is God placing in your heart a love for our city and the people in it?
If you begin to be stirred at a heart level for our city, don’t be surprised. There are a lot of people praying that God would give you the eyes to see and ears to hear. We are also praying that God’s stirring may compel you to do something about it.
When God first started stirring my heart for the city of Tucson, I didn’t know how to act on it. There was no 4Tucson then. I would occasionally meet other Christians who had a similar heart for our city. Some started nonprofits to focus on a city problem they saw hurting people. Others, like me, simply didn’t know what to do.
A few years ago, God put it on my heart to love our city to Jesus. I discovered, as I started studying city problems, that at the root of each problem was a worldview, or a policy, or—at times—even a law that had been passed that was opposite of the principles taught in the Bible. In every case, the further away from biblical principles our city went, the more people got hurt.
God loves people. In fact, He loves people so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross so that we could be set free from the bondage of sin. Sin hurts people.
Another thing I discovered in my research is that our city leaders want our city to prosper. They make decisions that impact the whole city. They often have good intentions when trying to solve a city problem. But if the solution is in opposition to what the Bible teaches, then no matter how well intentioned, the solution will only exacerbate the problem. The problems that then arise are often referred to as unintended consequences. When they try to solve the problems that the unintended consequence created, the cycle continues and more people are hurt.
When the good intentions create rules, policies, regulations and laws that pile one on top of the other, they become overwhelming. They stifle our citizen’s creativity. They limit their options for bettering themselves. They rob them of hope. That is not how God intends for us to live.
Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my favorite verses. It expresses God’s heart for us. It says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” says the LORD, “thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
For Christians, Jeremiah 29:7 tells us what we are to do for our city. “And seek the peace of the city…and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace.”
The Bible clearly tells us in the book of James, that it is not enough to know what to do. We are to apply God’s principles to what we see happening in the city. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22 (NKJV)
4Tucson is made up of ‘doers of the word’. Together we are praying for the peace and prosperity of our city. Together we are trying to create biblical solutions to our city’s most difficult and systemic problems. Together we are creating a city where people thrive and are able to become all that God created them to be.
If God has put the city on your heart and if you are asking what to do about it, would you join us? Would you join 4Tucson and help us implement biblical solutions for city problems? For the benefit of our city, we need you and you need us. We are better together. Join 4Tucson today.